Great blue sky and intense heat were on the plate for this year's edition of the Vibram Natural Games. The return to normal summer conditions surprised most of us after such a cold and rainy spring in southern France !!! Sport Climbing, Bouldering, Slackline, Freestyle Kayak, Paragliding, downhill and dirt mountain bike contests were all blessed by the blue sky and athletes heated up the show for the great pleasure of the huge crowd of spectators.
The Gravity trip started with a nice warm up on Thursday night's Dyno contest.
Friday, the trip moved to the Boffi area where two Ultimate Routes awaited the climbers. Nina Caprez started the show with a flash ascent of the women's route "M'enfin Marie" (8a+), instantly followed by Martina Cufar who redpointed the line on her first try. Mickael Fuselier had to wait for the cooler hours to bag the men's route "Albatros" (8b+). Around dusk, Florence Pinet, not really inspired by the women's line chose to spend her energy on the endlessly overhanging "Big Bug" (8a+) and sent it.
First mission accomplished for the team.
First mission accomplished for the team !
The first round of the bouldering comp was held Saturday morning on a new set of climbing modules in the heart of the Natural Games Village : 4 hours of qualification round open to all participants, followed by semi finals for men and women in the afternoon. At this game Fabien Comina and Alizée Dufraisse hiked the contest and lead the ranking.
As the temperatures rose on Sunday, a massive crowd showed up under their umbrellas and awaited for the finals. Alizée Dufraisse, definitely in her best shape ticked the four final problems with style and took the 1st place ahead of Berta Martin and Margot Heitz.
Luck turned for Fabien Comina in the finals. Daniel Dulac used his massive experience of competition and kept his head cool under his panama hat to take the lead. Combining his great problem reading skills and a secret bag full of high energy Daniel made the difference by successfully climbing the third problem (the one and only ascent).
|Women final results
||Men final results|
2. Berta Martin
3. Margot Heitz
4. Anouk Evene
5. Cintia Percivati
6. Andréa Székely
7. Manon Genti
1. Daniel Dulac
Taking advantage of the trip to Millau our route climbers payed a little visit to the Gorges du Tarn area, Gérome Pouvreau got the first repeat of "l'Oeil du Boudah", a huge 70-meter 8B+. Just to the left Mickael Fuselier redpointed on his first try the mythic "Tennessee" (8B). Nina Caprez got her kicks by ticking "Priez pour nous" (8b) and Florence Pinet rode "à Bicyclette" (8a+).
The Boffi area was also the impressive theater of the Slack trip (organized by Slack.fr), a huge 85-meter long highline and seven shorter ones kept all the slackers busy for two days. The best slackers gave all they had but only Mitch Kemeter (a young climber from Austria) successfully walked the highline.
On Sunday afternoon "kings of balance" gathered at the village for the Trick Line contest. Andy Lewis despite a front loop with twist wasn't able to keep his title and offered the higher steps of the podium to Lukas Irmler 2nd (GER) and Mike Payton 1st (USA)
Other outdoor sports : Freestyle Kayak, Accrobatic paragliding, and dirt MTB
The other outdoor sports present on the Natural Games had a great success among the participants. The final countdown of this edition reaches over 22,000 spectators for three days of intense outdoor sports combined with concerts and music shows.